Punter accused of race fixing
Punter Graham Henry Beirne is one of the men facing race-fixing charges as part of the Operation Inca investigation into the harness racing scene.
The 71-year-old Fendalton man was refused name suppression at an appearance in the Christchurch District Court last month, but the order was continued to give him a chance to file an appeal against the refusal in the High Court.
Five of the men who were refused suppression had signalled they were considering appealing.
Four of those filed their appeals before the deadline set by Judge Raoul Neave this week and the High Court is now settling a date for the appeals to be heard.
Beirne, a Christchurch car industry king pin, faces two charges of race fixing, but the details contained in the summary of facts remain suppressed.
He was on holiday in Bali when police raided his home on September 4 and apparently seized computers and devices.
At the time, he told The Press checks and balances in the current system made race fixing too difficult.
‘‘If they are talking race fixing, it’s nonsense. It doesn’t happen, so we’ll see what they come up with, but they are obviously taking it seriously because they have raided stables all over the place,’’ he said. He had about 30 horses that were trained by several trainers.
Defence counsel Chris Shannon confirmed Beirne had decided he was not going to appeal Judge Neave’s decision refusing suppression, and the order had now lapsed. Beirne has entered no pleas and is remanded to a review hearing on December 5. Some of those charged in the Operation Inca investigation have already pleaded not guilty and have been remanded to that review session, and then to a case review hearing on March 25 – the next stage on the way to trial.
Twelve people charged over the investigation have been appearing in the Christchurch courts.